12 Oppn MPs suspended from Rajya Sabha for unruly conduct during last session

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12 Oppn MPs suspended from Rajya Sabha for unruly conduct during last session

  • Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi sought the approval of the House for suspending 12 Rajya Sabha MPs for the remainder of the session.
  • The reason for their suspension was “their unprecedented acts of misconduct, contemptuous, unruly and violent behaviour and intentional attacks on security personnel” on the last day of the Monsoon Session.

When can the presiding officer invoke suspension?

  • Under Rule 255 (‘Withdrawal of member’) of the General Rules of Procedure of the Rajya Sabha, “The Chairman may direct any member whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately from the Council and any member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall absent himself during the remainder of the day’s meeting.”

How is suspension under Rule 255 different from Suspension under Rule 256?

  • Rule 256 provides for ‘Suspension of Member’; whereas Rule 255 provides for lesser punishment.
  • Under Rule 256, “the Chairman may, if he deems it necessary, suspend a member from the service of the Council for a period not exceeding the remainder of the Session.

Rules of parliamentary etiquette:

  • MPs are required to adhere to certain rules of parliamentary etiquette.
  • For example the Lok Sabha rulebook specifies that MPs are not to interrupt the speech of others, maintain silence and not obstruct proceedings by hissing or making running commentaries during debates.

Newer forms of protest led to these rules being updated in 1989.

  • Now, members should not shout slogans, display placards, tear up documents in protest, and play a cassette or a tape recorder in the House.
  • Rajya Sabha has similar rules. To conduct the proceedings smoothly, the rulebook also gives certain, similar powers to the presiding officers of both Houses.